Colorado Trails

As the most mature map set in Above the Timber's six western states, the Colorado maps have the most complete trail system. This map set offers over 15,500 miles of trails, the largest collection of Colorado trails, of any map available, not perfect, just the most complete.

The major trails you will find are as follows:

National Forest Trails

Beginning with version 6 of the Colorado maps, a new bolder motorized line type has been introduced. This line type affects all national forest with the exception of Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests, no motorized data. Whereas the motorized data existed in version 5 as a text suffix, the new line type allows faster identification in the field or your PC. See the forest specific screenshots for examples.
 

Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests - All trails numbered and named from a 2009 file, the 2011 file was incomplete 

 

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests - Complete trails with numbers, names and unique line type for both motorized and non-motorized trails.

 

Pike and San Isabel National Forests-Complete trails with numbers, names and unique line type for both motorized and non-motorized trails. Extensive custom trails, more complete than forest service published file.



   

Rio Grande National Forest - Complete trails with numbers, names and unique line type for both motorized and non-motorized trails.

 

San Juan National Forest - Complete trails with numbers, names and unique line type for both motorized and non-motorized trails.

 

White River National Forest - Complete trails with numbers, names and unique line type for both motorized and non-motorized trails.


 

National Park, Monument and Recreation Area Trails


Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - Complete trails with numbers and names from 2011 file
   

Great Sand Dunes National Park  - Complete trails with numbers and names from 2011 file
Mesa Verde National Park   - No trails, free hiking generally not permitted

Rocky Mountain National Park   - Complete trails with numbers and names from 2011 file
   

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument  - No trail information
Colorado National Monument    - Complete trails and routes with numbers and names from 2011 file
Dinosaur National Monument     - Trails without numbers and names from 2011 file
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument   - Complete trails with numbers and names from 2011 file
Hovenweep National Monument - No trail information
Yucca House National Monument - No trail information
Arapaho National Recreation Area - Complete trails with numbers and names from 2011 file
Curecanti National Recreation Area - Complete trails with numbers and names from 2011 file


Bureau of Land Management Trails

Gunnison Field Office - Complete trails with numbers, names and mechanization permitted attribute from 2010 file, some custom trails files, more complete than BLM file


 

Montrose Field Office - Complete trails with numbers, names and mechanization permitted attribute from 2010 file, includes the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness

   

Grand Junction Field Office - Complete trails with names for all BLM areas west of US-50 and north of I-70, includes Kokopelli's Trail and Black Ridge Wilderness

Royal Gorge Field Office - New with version 6, extensive trails added in the Arkansas River corridor from Canon City to Buena Vista, examples:

  • Whipple Trails, a series of foot and bike trails on the east side of the Arkansas River and accessible via a foot bridge from downtown Buena Vista. Extending past the Whipple trails is the Midland Hill trail, BLM 6032, which had 200 man-days of trail improvements by VOC in 2009. The view from the summit is better than most Fourteeners.

  • Arkansas Hills Trails, a network of bike and hiking trails north of Salida.

  • Methodist Mountain Trails, a network of bike and hiking trails south of Salida.

  • Shelf Road System, a series of motorized and foot trails NW of Canon City. Unique line type for both motorized and non-motorized trails.

  • Texas Creek Trail System, a series of motorized trails north of Texas Creek. Unique line type for motorized trails.

  • User submitted trails in the Fourmile Recreation Area and Browns Canyon WSA not in the RGFO data.

Little Snake Field Office - Complete trails with names from 2010 file
San Juan Public Lands Center - User submitted trails around Silverton


Colorado Trail

The entire Colorado Trail is included in the current maps, but there are some gotchas:

  • Not all of the trail is named Colorado Trail on the map, either it has a local name or it shares the trail with the Continental Divide Trail. Including a long name string and/or abbreviation was not always possible.

  • In a few places the Forest Service's CT path and my reference CT path were different, both are included but I'll leave the final choice to you.

  • I'll provide my reference GPS track file so you can lay it on top of the Colorado 24K Topos as a guide. ColoradoTrail.gpx

  • New for 2013 a brand new 24K Topo map dedicated to the Colorado Trail, see here for details.

Continental Divide Trail

As you likely know, the Continental Divide Trail is a work in progress. That a line exist from border-to-border does not mean it is either on or near the continental divide, or it is the final trail. With that aside, where the CD trail exists it is simply spectacular. For the last ten years the CD trail on the Gunnison/Chaffee county line has seen a lot of construction, this portion offers constant high alpine vistas with possible elk and mountain goat sightings. Some of the trails were finished in August and September 2011. Portions of the new trail exceed 12,800-feet. All of the newly constructed trails are included on the version 6.0 maps. I can highly recommend the CD trail portions between Cottonwood and Monarch passes.

State Park Trails

Every State Park unit's trails are included along with the park area. Each trail is named per the state data.

Yampa Valley Trail

The 100-mile long Yampa Valley Trail is a mostly bike trail that includes some roads, learn more here: Yampa Valley Trail.

Fourteeners

Last mile routes for each of Colorado's 54-Fourteeners are now shown in a unique dot line type. Every Fourteener has a least one trail and/or route leading to its summit, some have three. The screenshot below gives an example where trails start from a trailhead and routes lead from the defined trail "the last mile" to the summit.



Routes are NOT Trails: A note about routes, trails and routes are not the same, routes may have no visible on ground indication of their existence unlike a trail. Routes are simply lines on a map, nothing more. Also, just because the line exists, it does not mean you have the necessary skills for the route. Users are advised to research the route before attempting them as some are very steep with considerable exposure.

Urban Trails

Hundreds of miles of urban trails throughout Colorado are included. For example all of the Denver metro area, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Fort Collins. Also added were Grand Junction, Aspen and Durango. Urban trails differ from conventional hiking trails both in width and character. Expect vehicle width for maintenance and a paved surface for durability. Whether these trails require a GPS for navigation is left to you. At a minimum their inclusion may be an opportunity to seek out a new path.

 

Trail Naming

When the data was available, trail names now include the most mechanized vehicle permitted on the trail. These attributes are added as a suffix to the name string and would include Bike, Mtrcyc, ATV, Snwmbl. All Colorado National Forest units had this data except the Roosevelt and Arapaho NF. If the suffix says Trail, then only foot and horse travel is permitted, all mechanized trails allow foot and horse travel. The sole purpose of the data is to provide a better planning tool. Expect some errors with the trailhead sign being the final arbitrator of permitted use.

Add Your Trails

As complete as these maps are, they could be better. Please if you find a missing trail, record a track and submit that track for inclusion in the next map version. All the details are here.